I wrote Jeff Flake, John McCain and Jan Brewer the following letter. I suggest everyone take a look at the facts of the recent Budget Pardon and the effect this is going to have on you.
I am contacting you and several others in order to voice my concerns over the recent covert release of foreign criminals into society by ICE, specifically the release of thousands of foreign criminals throughout the United States population.
First off I must say that I am extremely concerned for the safety of myself, family, friends and the citizens of Arizona after the resent release of several hundred foreign criminals into Arizona’s population. It is even more concerning that the information about the release was not portrayed to the proper authorities in order to help secure our safety. Even more concerning is the lack of communication and information that should be divulged by ICE after the current release. From my understanding there are more foreign criminals to be released.
I am hearing that ICE staff/agents are being directly threatened in order to prevent any information on the so called budget pardon from reaching the public or even our Sheriffs. With this being said, I feel that we need a congressional inquiry and oversight hearing into the events leading up to and after the release of these foreign criminals. The people have a right to know.
Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County has written a letter to Janet Napolitano requesting information as to the situation but has not been given any help. Babeu is being hindered by ICE officials that are threatening agents with disciplinary action up to and including termination for the release of information to third parties, evidently ”third parties” includes Sheriff Paul Babeu. This is a great injustice that needs to be approached from a different angle in order to get the answers needed while protecting our ICE agents from threats, disciplinary action or termination.
Paul Babeu has also sent a letter to Darrell Issa officially requesting a congressional inquiry and oversight hearing. I support Babeu’s request and feel this is the best course of action after the events that have occurred to hinder the release of information from ICE.
Concerned Arizona Citizen,
They are simple questions.
Who went free when Immigration and Customs Enforcement released more than 2,200 detainees last year, citing sequestration cuts?
Where are they now? How many had criminal histories? Who has been taken back into custody?
ICE has been given ample opportunity to provide simple, straightforward answers. It has rejected every one, preferring obfuscation, contradiction and the stingy sharing of as little information as possible.
In doing so, it only adds to the Department of Homeland Security’s reputation as a stonewaller. A vacuum of information encourages doubts and criticism, and it makes comprehensive immigration reform that much more difficult.
ICE would serve itself and this country much better by releasing the names of all 2,226 — or 2,228, depending on who is talking — detainees it released. It should say who were high-risk Level 1 offenders and where they are now. It should do the same for Level 2 offenders.
This information would either alleviate fears or allow police to enhance public safety. It would either buttress or undermine charges that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detains too many people who represent no risk to the public and are unlikely to flee.
Instead, the agency rations information as if it were canteen water in an August desert.
ICE officials provided no numbers in response to an Arizona Republic freedom-of-information request, saying only that freed detainees continue to be monitored. Trust us.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said the feds have ignored his request for information about the 342 people released from four facilities in his county.
Lawmakers have received information about some individual detainees, but they also have been given conflicting information.
ICE’s standard story is that 10 Level 1 detainees were released, two of whom have since been deported. But in a letter to Sen. John McCain, an assistant secretary at Homeland Security said 32 Level 1 offenders had been released. He put the number of Level 2 offenders at 80, or half the number in previous reports.
Which numbers are accurate? The best way to figure that out would be for ICE to release names, histories and current locations.
Record-setting numbers of people have been deported under President Barack Obama’s administration, but Republicans resist immigration reform because they don’t trust him to enforce whatever they pass.
That can be a head-scratcher. But ICE’s performance gives the Republican position credence. If the agency can’t be forthright in answering simple questions about last year’s mass release, how can GOP lawmakers trust it?
ICE isn’t alone. The Border Patrol and Customs and Border Enforcement are also expert at withholding information, including metrics on border security. This has made the case for immigration reform more difficult by giving critics ample basis not to trust the agencies. The GOP can blame the president instead of its own internal fractures.
It’s past time to change that equation. Transparency and accountability build trust and create a foundation for long-overdue reform. ICE can lead the way by being forthcoming in detailing whom it released last year and what has happened to them since.